4 Books Like The Rook (By Steven James)

Thrillers have long been a staple within the world of literature.

Nothing quite beats the feeling of turning page after page of a thriller, feeling your palms get sweaty as our protagonists race against the clock to save the world against massive threats to our survival.

4 Books Like The Rook (By Steven James)

One of the most popular books in the genre in recent memory is The Rook, a book written by author Steven James, which depicts Patrick Bowers, a Special Agent, who is sent to investigate recent events at a US naval base.

Patrick is sent to find out what recent invasions of the base were in search of, and what he discovers over the course of his investigation is totally mind-blowing.

However, we need not tirelessly recap the story of this book, as you’re probably here because you have read it yourself, and now you want another book that can satisfy the same thrill-seeking part of your mind.

If you were a massive fan of The Rook, and you now want a similar book, then you will get a lot out of some of the entries that we have explored below. There’s something for everyone, and they’re all sure to satisfy, especially entries like BoneMan’s Daughters, and Deadline!

Themes In The Rook

The Rook (Patrick Bowers Files, Book 2)

The Rook may be an exciting and pulse-pounding thrill ride of a novel, but it is actually very rich in complex themes and ideas that its set of characters grapple and contend with over the course of the story.

One of the ideas explored over the course of the novel is that of Government oversight, and just how much power the Government should be given to watch the people in order to catch just one killer.

Is it okay for the Government to so closely observe its people for the sake of criminal justice?

The novel also explores basic human feelings and emotions, to investigate how they can have a much larger impact on the political landscape, and how they can influence larger events across the world.

It’s not often that thrillers of this caliber are so willing to delve into the human spirit to investigate personal motives for crimes, and the role that emotions can play.

This also helps the book to delve into the minds of its characters, making them richer and more fully developed, to the point that they feel real!

The novel also takes a look into the depths of depravity that man can reach, which can make for very disconcerting but incredibly exciting reading.

Turning each page becomes an absolute thrill.

Books Like The Rook (By Steven James)

BoneMan’s Daughters

BoneMan's Daughters

This is another story, similar to The Rook that is based around a central character, Intelligence officer Ryan Evans, who is set to investigate the case of a notorious serial killer who has become renowned for kidnapping young women, in the search of a perfect daughter.

Of the six ‘daughters’ that the infamous ‘BoneMan’ has abducted, all six have been murdered at his hands for failing to meet up to his expectations.

This story introduces a more personal angle for our central investigative protagonist, as his own estranged daughter, Bethany, is kidnapped, and set to be the seventh victim of the BoneMan.

This creates a veritable ‘ticking clock’ for the story.

In order to save his daughter, and repair his relationship with her, Ryan Evans must get the lead out and investigate at greater speed, before it is too late!

This is one of the greatest modern thriller novels of recent memory, because of how deeply engaging it is.

It takes the standard formula of a page-turner and ramps up the excitement tenfold!

The personal involvement of the protagonist in the case helps to make every moment feel all the more tense.

If you were a big fan of The Rook’s sense of tension, then you will get a real kick out of BoneMan’s Daughters!


  • Features one of the most engaging plots on this list.
  • A real page turner


  • One of the longer books on this list.

Themes: Family, Fatherhood, Daughterhood, Murder, Kidnapping, Crime.



Jake Woods, the central protagonist of this story, is a man that has already experienced a great deal of tragedy before the story truly kicks into action, and this helps to make it very engaging right from the start.

It also keeps the story engaging, as readers are invited to see how Jake is able to pull himself through these tragedies (If you like stories with tragic themes, check out Books Like The Great Gatsby) .

At the start of the novel, readers learn that Jake is enduring a tragedy that has struck those closest to him, leaving deep emotional scars within.

As he seeks to find justice, Jake soon finds himself drawn right into a long and ongoing murder investigation that is incredibly complex and tangled.

However, the investigation not only brings to light a complex web of intrigue, but it also suggests that Jake’s own life may very well be under threat!

How will Jake manage to investigate the case, move on from his past trauma, and face down the very real potential that the investigation might kill him?

This dramatic novel is well worth your attention if you are looking around for a crime story that will keep you turning each page, waiting to find out what might happen next!


  • Features an incredibly intricate central mystery.
  • The central protagonist is incredibly endearing and incredibly well-developed.


  • Another very long entry on this list, making it a very long read.

Themes: Trauma, Time, Family, Love, Revenge, Murder, Crime.

A Light In The Window

A Light in the Window (The Mitford Years)

A Light In The Window is a little more laid-back when compared to The Rook and some of the other entries on this list, as it is instead set within a small town called Mitford.

The story is centered around Father Tim, who is being pursued all around on all sides by temptations.

As the story unfolds, we naturally get to know a lot more about Father Tim, and also the town of Mitford that he occupies.

The picture that is painted over the course of the novel is incredibly rich and vibrant, and really creates the sense of a lived-in world.

It’s hard to resist the pull of this fictional world, making it a very easy and engaging read.


  • One of the easiest reads on this list.
  • Features a very unique story.


  • Perhaps slightly less thrilling than other entries on this list.

Themes: Love, Faith, Pastoral life, Family.


Intervention (An Intervention Novel)

Barbara Covington, the central protagonist of this novel, is in a scenario that would be a nightmare for any parent.

Hoping to intervene in her daughter Emily’s intense misuse of substances, Barbara sets up an intervention.

But before Emily can even arrive at rehab, she disappears completely, and her interventionist is quickly found dead.

Soon, Barbara Covington’s problems get much worse, and as her investigations to find her lost daughter go deeper and deeper, she inevitably ends up discovering some truly horrifying things.

Despite the horror present throughout the story, the novel actually retains a slightly upbeat spirit that celebrates the bond between mother and daughter, and the lengths to which a loving parent will go for the betterment of their child.

Give this novel a read if you want a mystery tale that is equal parts thrilling and complex, with plenty of emotional stakes, and plenty of in-depth themes to explore.


  • The central mother-daughter dynamic makes the story even stronger.


  • Perhaps slightly too short for its own good.

Themes: Family, Mother-Daughter bond, Love, Revenge, Mystery, Investigation.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the very best novels that can help to scratch a similar itch to The Rook, and each one is sure to excite fans of the novel.

Perhaps best of all, despite sharing some of the same DNA as The Rook, these novels also stand on their own merit and offer very unique experiences and stories the likes of which you may not find elsewhere.

Try out some of the books that we explored above, not only will they help to fill the absence left behind by The Rook, but they will also likely become a new favorite that will keep you engaged for hours at a time.

If you are The Rook’s biggest fan, then you definitely do not want to miss out on the entries on our list, they are deeply satisfying, and sure to stick with you emotionally after reading.

Why not give them a try?

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Is The Best Psychological Thriller Writer?

It would be difficult to claim that there is definitively a ‘best’ thriller writer, but some of the best include Ruth Ware, Tana French, and Samantha Downing!

What Is The Best Thriller Ever Written?

It is difficult to claim that there is a definitive ‘best’ thriller novel, but amongst the very best are Gone Girl, Misery, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Shutter Island!

What Are The Three C’s Of Thriller?

The three Cs are a set of rules that most thriller authors adhere to to make their novels great. ‘The Contract’, ‘The Clock’, ‘The Crucible’.

Anna Davis